Literary criticism is the evaluation of literary works such as poems, short stories, novels and plays. Briefly, criticism goes beyond a summary of a literary work to discuss the merit of the work, what may have influenced the author, how the author may have influenced others, what impact it may have had and whether it has enduring value. There are many literary theories and a work may be evaluated differently depending on what school of thought the author of the critical article is using.
Literature can be challenging to research because there simply is not as much written about it as many other subjects. Here are some more things that can be challenging when researching literature:
It is easier to find criticism on authors from the past than on contemporary authors. They have not been around as long to study or have had sufficient if any critical articles written about them. There can be exceptions to this.
Authors who are women or minorities from any era have had less written about their works, though that is changing. There just may be less available
There are some works about which there is not much written, even some works by the most famous authors.
The best place to find articles on works of literature is in our top literature databases. Here are tips that will help you get your criticism articles more quickly for Gale Literature, OneSearch and ProQuest PowerSearch.
While each database has unique articles that the others do not, you will notice some of the same article where they overlap. Depending on your subject, you may need to use all three databases below or even more. You can go to A-Z Databases: Literary Criticism to access all our databases with criticism, but the ones below are your best bets.
Here are a few more tips: